In today’s fast-paced manufacturing world, rapid access to accurate data can mean the difference between:
- Quality products and scrap
- On-time delivery and late shipments
- Healthy margins and meager profits
Gaining speed and accuracy in many cases comes down to choosing the right IIoT platform. If that’s a decision your organization is facing, you may be weighing a ThingWorx vs Ignition comparison. When sizing up these solutions, you’ll see both are industrial automation platforms with stellar capabilities, but there are a few details that may make one a better choice than the other in particular instances.
Successful manufacturing operations require connected systems and accurate data.
Comparing IIoT Platforms: The ThingWorx vs Ignition Breakdown
IIoT vs SCADA
First, it’s important to note that in the ThingWorx vs Ignition comparison, the two platforms are different at their cores.
SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, and it generally consists of sensors that collect data from equipment, ensuring it falls within defined parameters and sounding an alert if the measurements are outside defined specs.
IIoT also uses connected equipment sensors to collect and analyze data, but it can also connect to “things” outside the shop floor. For example, IIoT may connect to equipment at a customer site and generate proactive maintenance orders at predefined production thresholds or automatically reorder consumables.
ThingWorx is an IIoT platform, while Ignition is at its heart a SCADA platform. If SCADA-level data collection is all you need, either option will work. But if you’re hoping to undergo a complete digital transformation of all your business processes, then an IIoT platform is a better choice. If digital transformation is your goal, ThingWorx is the winner in the ThingWorx vs Ignition contest right out of the gate.
A complete IIoT solution, like ThingWorx, is critical to achieving an effective digital transformation.
SCADA came of age in process industries such as oil and gas, food and beverage, and other continuous-process, asset-intensive industries. As sensor technologies improved, SCADA moved into more industries.
IIoT, on the other hand, was born during the age of digital transformation and has always connected to all sorts of devices, everything from HVAC systems to nuclear reactors to the equipment in a typical machine shop or automated assembly line—including continuous process, asset-intensive production.
If your core industry is purely process, you may be fine selecting Ignition as your SCADA system, but even most process industries have a discrete process or two somewhere in the cycle. If that’s the case, then the ThingWorx IIoT platform may be a better choice, even if your product is yogurt, soda pop, or water, oil, or gas.
Both IIoT and SCADA are technologies whose primary purpose is to integrate equipment and provide actionable insight based on the data collected. However, integration capabilities differ widely. ThingWorx, for example, is already integrated with PTC’s entire manufacturing suite, including PLM, PDM, 3D CAD, augmented reality, and more, giving you access to a complete suite of leading digital transformation solutions. Ignition, on the other hand, integrates with data but not with as many digital transformation solutions.
In the ThingWorx vs Ignition battle, the device management category is a draw. Both products provide a single portal that provides insight and enables control of all connected equipment.
Pre-built Apps and Learning Curve
Ignition enables app creation, but it doesn’t provide pre-built apps you can use as a “jumping-off place” for designing your own custom apps the way ThingWorx does. ThingWorx comes complete with a significant number of apps your team can modify or use as-is, depending on your needs.
The availability of pre-built apps in ThingWorx dramatically shortens the learning curve and dwindles implementation times.
Ignition is a product of Inductive Automation, a company that has been in business since 2003. It is a private company with revenue estimated between $10 and $50 million, and a staff size between 50 and 200 employees.
PTC was founded in 1985 and has more than 7,000 employees. Its annual revenue for FY21 was $1.8 billion. PTC is considered a leader in its markets by most major industry analyst firms, including Gartner, Forrester, and IDC.
Major industry analyst firms like Gartner, IDC, and Forrester rank PTC and ThingWorx among IIoT leaders.
When it comes to betting your business on a third party, most companies would choose PTC, making ThingWorx the clear winner in ThingWorx vs Ignition.
Making a Choice: ThingWorx vs Ignition
Both products have their benefits and happy customers, and with PTC’s place as a leader in manufacturing for more than 35 years, we think ThingWorx is clearly a better choice for your digital transformation initiative. If you would like to learn more about the differences between IIoT and SCADA, or how ThingWorx stacks up to other solutions in the market, contact us today.